(and Iran.)

Another indicator of the tough geopolitical times ahead. 

[Sudan Tribune]: But the Chinese laborers are protected: They work under the vigilant
gaze of Sudanese government troops armed largely with Chinese-made
weapons — a partnership of the world’s fastest-growing oil consumer
with a pariah state accused of fostering genocide in its western Darfur

The pressure to find new sources of oil has grown as China has swelled
into the world’s second-largest consumer and as production at the
largest of its domestic fields is declining. According to government
statistics, China’s imports have grown from about 6 percent of its oil
needs a decade ago to roughly one-third today, and are forecast to rise
to rise to 60 percent by 2020.

The US imports 53% percent of its oil today (48% net imports). DOE predicts 68%
in 2025, and strangely assumes prices at only $30-35 per barrel. What
if that price estimate is wrong. What if it’s very wrong? What are the
potential impacts — macro-economic, cultural and strategic
— of growing import dependency, rising trade deficits, rising budget
deficits, (rising sea levels?), lost access to European markets
unwilling to accept lower quality (i.e., toxic) US goods? (I’ll address
the last factor in a forthcoming article.) What are US business leaders
— espcially those who speak of environmental commitments and social
responsbility — willing to do — both at the level ofcorporate
commitments, strategy and practice and
at the level of political engagement — to protect both their companies
and the national economy within which they operate? (Another
forthcoming article.)

Oh, and by the way,
China in October signed a $70 billion oil deal with Iran, and the
evolving ties between those two countries could complicate U.S. efforts
to isolate Iran diplomatically or pressure it to give up its ambitions
for nuclear weapons.

[Thanks to John Robb for the sobering link.]